For many adrenaline junkies, experiencing a rush just doesn’t cut it anymore—it now has to be recorded for reliving or sharing. That explains the recent explosion in wearable cameras and other devices that are more practical than strapping a full-sized SLR to one’s head. If you’re heading out on the slopes this winter and want to record it for posterity, here are some options to consider.
Sony Action Cam Mini
$330 | Store.sony.ca
GoPro is synonymous with wearable cameras, but Sony’s Action Cam Mini may be the smarter choice. It’s considerably cheaper than GoPro’s highest-end devices, but it doesn’t sacrifice quality. Still and video images look great at up to 11.9 megapixels or 1080p and 60 frames per second, respectively. The camera, which looks like a miniature version of the camcorders Sony has spent decades perfecting, also benefits from image stabilization. It can be controlled via a smartphone app or through a wrist-worn remote. Either option provides a live viewfinder and playback screen. Sony also has a wide variety of mounts available. All told, the Action Cam Mini does just about everything its better-known rival does, but in an easier-to-use package and at a better price.
Best for Professionals
GoPro Hero4 Black
$450 | BestBuy.ca
If it’s professional-level video you’re after, you’ll want to go GoPro. The Hero4 Black shoots the widest range of image options, up to and including 4K ultra high-definition. And while the camera lacks stabilization, some of the shaking can be made up for with the included editing software. GoPro also has a huge selection of mounts and connects to smartphones via Bluetooth, where settings can be controlled and images viewed. On the downside, battery life is short and the control menus take some figuring out.
$230 | Shop.ca
One of the problems with wearing a camera is… well, you look like you’re wearing a camera. For self-conscious individuals who don’t want to look dorky while filming their adventures, Pivothead is the way to go. The Kudus are basically a pair of sunglasses with a camera subtly housed in the middle. One button on the side starts video recordings of up to 1080p while another shoots 8-megapixel photos. The glasses have 8 gigabytes of memory built-in, or enough for an hour of full high-definition video. However, a separate $109 Air Sync device is needed if you want to watch videos on your smartphone.
Easiest to Use
$199 | Staples (in stores, not online)
Phone maker HTC has entered the action camera fray with the RE, a periscope-shaped device that offers a few unique abilities. The RE can shoot both slow-motion and time-lapse videos and is distinguished by having only two buttons—one to start and stop recording and another to activate slow-mo, although additional controls can be accessed via a smartphone app. It isn’t as high-end as other cameras, but it is waterproof without a separate casing and it’s a breeze to use.